Saturday 29 December 2012

52 Weeks 52 Photos

Last year I enjoyed spending some "December down time" rummaging through Picasa albums in search of 2011's best bits, so this year I thought I'd do it all over again.

Inevitably London and the Olympics feature strongly, as does Lincoln Cathedral, a place it's difficult to visit without taking lots of photographs. Some places, such as Bletchley Park will be visited again soon, so there's more to come from them I suspect.

Click here to view the Picasaweb album.

Friday 21 December 2012

Christmas Computers 30 Years Ago

The December 1982 issue of Your Computer featured an attached flexidisc containing games for the ZX-81, Spectrum and Vic. Unfortunately I can't find this forerunner of the cover CD, but from the article in the magazine, using it was an involved process. At the time, the standard input method for restoring your saved programs was via cassette tape, so the procedure for the 33rpm flexidisc was to record it on tape and then load from the tape on to your computer.

Elsewhere the issue included a wide variety of games to keep your fingers busy typing over the festive period, some of which were reproduced in extremely small type. Or perhaps my eyesight was better then. In the letters page there were further complaints from those still waiting for Sinclair to deliver their Spectrum, in some cases after waiting for up to 4 months, all against a backdrop of new machines from the Japanese manufacturers.

Saturday 15 December 2012

Aldwych Tube Station Tour

Last weekend saw another of the occasional re-openings of the now-disused Aldwych tube station for a series of guided tours. Having missed out on the last round of tours, I was looking forward to this one, and was there in plenty of time.

The station was in service until 1994, and I remember it from my first job in London back in 1988, as the station was on the far edge of a lunchtime loop walk I used to do from my office near Farringdon station. However, like many others I didn't use the station because it's location as a spur from Holborn meant that it was often easier to get off the tube network at Holborn, and just walk down Kingsway.

The tour lasts for about an hour, and takes in the upper level lobby before descending down 160 or so steps to the platform levels. Although the lifts are still present, they are no longer in use due to their age, and are bolted in position - you can walk through them, however.

Down on the platforms, there is one train in on the platform which is still open, whilst the other platform is no longer open, and the exit tunnel has been bricked up - indeed this platform was closed only 10 years after the station was opened, as even then very few passengers were using the station. Aldwych is often used for filming, which is why the train is still operational, although there has been a recent trend to use the old Charing Cross Jubilee Line station for filming, as it is more modern.

The guides are very knowledgeable, and there are plenty of opportunities to hear stories, ask questions, and take photographs, before climbing back up the 160 steps. In recent years, the tours have been run at the end of November and start of December, the London Transport Museum events calendar will usually include details, as do many of the London event listings web sites, such as Ian Visits. There are some photographs from the tour here.

Wednesday 28 November 2012

November 1982 - Clive Sinclair reveals plans for 1983

The November 1982 issue of Your Computer contained the usual fireworks and bonfire references, but beyond the cliches there were the usual gems.

This month featured a review of the Jupiter Ace, which was unique at that time for offering something which wasn't BASIC - it was based around the Forth programming language. This was very much a "Sinclair spin off", as it was the creation of two members of the design team on the ZX Spectrum. The review described the machine as a "brave gamble" and it proved to be relatively unsuccessful - if you have one hiding somewhere, you might find it's a collector's item these days.

There was also an interview with Clive Sinclair, where he revealed his plans for the coming year. These were centred around a briefcase computer, a desktop computer to be built for ICL, and the Microdrive, which had been mooted since April that year but with scarce details since then.

Elsewhere, the editorial wondered if home computing might be another fad, and decided that with some imagination from suppliers it might still be a fad, but one which "should be good at least until the end of the century".

Friday 23 November 2012

Bletchley Park - Home of the Codebreakers

I visited Bletchley Park in 2003 for a BCS meeting, and last weekend I finally managed to get back there for a day trip. Obviously a lot has changed in the near-decade since my first visit. There's even more to see, too much for one day in fact, so it's just as well that your entrance fee now gives you a year-long season ticket, so you can go back as many times as you like to see all of it.

The best way to see the estate is to join one of the regular guided tours which leave from the mansion - these start with a brief talk indoors before heading out to explore. The tours take in a lot, and you should allow 2 hours if you include the optional tour extension to see Tunny and Colossus (there is a separate charge for this in addition to your admission fee).

There's also a great cafe in Hut 4 for your morning and afternoon cuppa, and a variety of lunch options as well, a great way of keeping the hunger at bay and providing some more support for Bletchley Park at the same time. Cake was extensively tested, and found to be very good.

On this trip there wasn't time for everything, so the Churchill Collection and the National Museum of Computing will have to wait for next time, along with a longer look around the Block-B Exhibition Centre.

There's a few photos here.

Friday 16 November 2012

Your Blu-ray Player is just a PC - Treat it Like One

A few weeks ago I decided to try to fix a problem which had been bugging me for a while. The extra features on the Blu-ray version of Fringe Season 3 didn't play on my LG Blu-ray player. Having not updated the software for over a year, I reckoned that this was almost certainly the problem, and once I'd finished watching the series itself, I hooked the player up to the Internet.

Sure enough, there was a new version of the software available, so I set it off downloading. Some 40 minutes later, it completed, and started installing. At which point the device crashed and required a hard reset using the wall socket. Not really what I was hoping for, but the reboot revealed that the software hadn't updated and the thing was at least still working.

In a classic case of "I've started so I'll finish" I tried the update again, and 40 odd minutes later went through the same process of having to hard reset.

At this point, it was time to treat the player like a PC (well, it is a Linux box after all, underneath all the consumer branding) and I went off for some serious Internet searching. I found a few people were having some problems, but also that the LG web site had a version of the software which was newer than the one I had currently, but older than the one it was trying to upgrade to. Normally the web site should offer the same version, but in this case I was happy to be able to try something else.

I downloaded this (in about 90 seconds, so why the player took so long about it I don't know) and copied to a USB stick, and updated the player using that. This time, the player didn't crash, and rebooted successfully.

Alas the Fringe extras still didn't work.

However, it did mean that I could now attempt the automatic software update over the Internet, yet again, but this time from a different start point in terms of software. Keeping to the pattern, this once again took 40 minutes to download, but this time the process completed with a successful reboot.

Happily the Fringe extra features now played. So, it's always important to remember that lots of consumer devices now are basically PCs inside, so when they give you grief, treat them like PCs!

Monday 29 October 2012

Computing in 1982 - October

The October 1982 issue of Your Computer looked at the threat to British manufacturers posed by a new wave of microcomputer imports from the US and the Far East.

Against a backdrop of delivery not-quite-in-28-days these new machines looked likely to offer an alternative of high street convenience, with no delivery delays if the machines were in stock, and should the machines be faulty, they could be taken straight back for exchange or refund like any other goods.

Whilst the reviewers were generally impressed by the new wave of machines, one stood out in particular - the Commodore 64, which went on to become one of the key machines in the development of home computing.

Also this month, the usual collection of low-level assembler and machine code utilities, and a little bit of Forth as well.

Monday 22 October 2012

LinkedIn Endorsements: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I've received a few emails recently about LinkedIn Endorsements, a new feature on the professional social networking site. Like many such features, they were added with a specific reason in mind, but there have been some side effects which are, I suspect, unintentional.
So first of all, what are they? Well, you can read the LinkedIn announcement describing them here. Basically the feature builds on the existing "Skills" facility, allowing connections viewing your profile to click on a skill to indicate that they can confirm that you have that skill. This is very similar to LinkedIn Recommendations, but there are some differences, which are crucial.

The Good

The problem with Recommendations is that they're time consuming to write (properly) and also need a level of (necessary) interaction between the two parties before being published against a profile, nobody wants a Recommendation to say negative things, so each one must be approved by the recipient. Endorsements, however, are quick and precise - you can select the skills you've seen your contact demonstrate and endorse each with a single click.

Also, Endorsements are connected to Skills, and everyone should have Skills listed on their LinkedIn profile, because having a formalised skills list makes it easier to be found on LinkedIn searches. I've seen numerous LinkedIn profiles which have not been updated to include Skills, and the Endorsements feature will encourage those people to add Skills, so that they can then be endorsed.

The Bad

As mentioned above, Recommendations take a little while to sort out, but they can be very specific, and allow your connections to go into a bit more detail about the particular business or technical projects you've worked on, and how significant your contribution was. All of that is lost in a single-click Endorsement.

The other major issue with Endorsements is the amount of noise they can generate. You will receive emails from LinkedIn whenever someone endorses your skills, but you can switch these off (go to Settings -> Email Preferences -> Set the frequency of emails -> Endorsements). Also, whenever someone in your network receives or issues an Endorsement, that activity will show up on as an update on your LinkedIn home page - although LinkedIn will roll these up into single updates for multiple connections from time to time.

The Ugly

The speed advantage offered by Endorsements can work against you, however. If one of your connections gets click happy, you may find them endorsing you for skills that they have no knowledge of. Your network will consist of people you have, and have not, worked with before, so it's worth keeping track of those Endorsements - if any are not appropriate, you can hide them (click the "see all endorsers" icon, and use the "Hide endorsement" buttons as required).

And if you are a "click happy endorser", remember that your Endorsements will show up as a LinkedIn activity, so if people in your network see that you're endorsing pretty much everyone for pretty much everything, your Endorsements will carry less weight in the future.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Open House London 2012 - Broadgate

This is one of a short series of blog posts describing visits during Open House weekend in London, September 2012. You can find out more about Open House on their web site. Having visited the Lloyd's Building, there was just enough time for another City of London visit before heading up to Dollis Hill for the tour around Paddock.

Unfortunately 1 Finsbury Circus closed early due to its popularity, but nearby in Broadgate a few of the buildings had their lobbies open to the public. 10 Exchange Square was perhaps the least interesting, but was a handy stop on the way to the Broadgate Tower, the newest building in Broadgate.

The tower lobby is actually split over three levels, all of which were open, each offering interesting views of the others. From there, it was over to 155 Bishopsgate, one of the oldest buildings, being one of those built during the original redevelopment in the mid 80s. This has an upper and lower lobby, accessed via the Great Eastern Walkway and Bishopsgate respectively, although for Open House only the latter was open, which did cause some confusion for those arriving via the walkway, who could see other visitors inside even though the doors were locked!

155 Bishopsgate is a stark contrast to the Broadgate Tower, and shows how design has changed over the last 25 years or so - dark panelling replaced with bright colours and gleaming metal finishes.

You can see some more photos here.

Friday 12 October 2012

Don't let the Caps Lock key RUIN YOUR TYPING

Photo by i_yudai on Flickr
Last week I received an email from James Potter, The LinkedIn Man putting me in touch with one of his connections who was looking for a software solution to a particularly annoying problem:

"As the world’s poorest typist I am desperate to solve the problem of hitting Caps Lock in error and looking at the screen 30 seconds later to find I have typed about thirty WORDS IN UPPER CASE, by mistake."

As this is something that's caught me out before, more often not involving Caps Lock but Num Lock, and finding that I've been moving around a spreadsheet rather than entering numbers into it, it seemed worthwhile writing up a solution offered within Windows itself, namely "ToggleKey".

This feature will cause your computer to beep whenever you press Caps Lock, Num Lock, or Scroll Lock. It makes a slightly different sound activating the lock and deactivating it. Here's how to enable it on Windows XP:

Simply click Start, and then Control Panel. On the window which opens you'll see "Accessibility Options". Double click that, and another smaller window will open - find the box near the bottom marked "Use ToggleKeys" and tick it. Click OK and you're done.

On Windows7, the steps are similar, but inevitably slightly different, and is documented on the Microsoft web site here.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Open House London 2012 - The Lloyd's Building

This is one of a short series of blog posts describing visits during Open House weekend in London, September 2012. You can find out more about Open House on their web site. Some events are turn up on the day and queue, and the Lloyd's Building is one of those, and is one of the most popular with visitors.

Fortunately the Saturday was a fine day with clear blue skies to start. As this is such a popular attraction the queues are long, and even if you arrive an hour before the opening time, you'll still be in a queue, so you should allow for this when planning your day. The event is well organised, having been run for a number of years now, and there's no pressure to move around at any speed. Although there are no guided tours, there are plenty of event staff around to help you with any questions you may have.

There is security on entry, inevitably, so be prepared to have your bags searched, and sharp objects will be removed (and returned to you when you leave). The contents of my backpack were queried, as the contents were my heavier boots, ready for the afternoon trip to Paddock in north London!

From there, the route is laid out before you, going up on to the main floor, and across it, with plenty of time to look at the Lutine Bell, the Nelson Exhibition, and the atrium, before heading out to the lift lobby to take one of the building's trademark external lifts up to the 11th floor.

The 11th floor offers spectacular views of nearby buildings, as well as across London, and being at the top of the atrium, you get a chance to look back down at the Lutine Bell way below you. Also on the 11th floor, the route takes you through the Adam Room [PDF].

On the other side of the building, the lifts take you back down, this time to the 3rd floor, where you get another chance to look down, and also across at the network of escalators which run up and down across the atrium. Indeed, these are the next stop on the route, and take you back down to the ground floor level, where you can complete your tour with a visit to the Coffee House for refreshments.

This is an excellent place to visit, with plenty of time to look round and take photos (some of mine are here), allow around 90 minutes including stopping for a drink on your way out.

Thursday 4 October 2012

Open House London 2012 - Paddock Bunker

This is one of a short series of blog posts describing visits during Open House weekend in London, September 2012. You can find out more about Open House on their web site.

Some events are turn up on the day and queue, but many are ticketed (although still free) and must be booked in advance. Paddock Bunker in Dollis Hill, north London is one of those.

Paddock, the Alternative Cabinet War Room, was built in 1939 to provide a backup command centre for the government during the Second World War. However it only hosted two Cabinet meetings, the first chaired by Churchill in 1940, and the second by Clement Atlee in 1941.

Although Churchill had been keen to establish a base outside central London in case the primary Cabinet War Room sustained heavy damage, after the first meeting he felt it unsuitable for long term use. He missed the second meeting due to illness. The facility was abandoned before the end of the war.

The bunker has remained largely intact and untouched since then, although it did suffer some flood damage some years ago, and is now owned by a housing association. It is open to the public during Open House weekend, with guided tours from Subterranea Britannica volunteers, who are enthusiastic and knowledgeable. Hard hats (provided on arrival) must be worn by all visitors because there are a few low doorways and other obstacles. The facility is now also quite wet, with standing water in places, so sensible footwear is a must.

This is a fascinating tour, is altogether different to many other Open House tours, and is highly recommended. You can see a few photos from the tour here.

You can learn more about Paddock on the Subterranea Britannica web site.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Computing in 1982 - August

The August 1982 issue of Your Computer contained all the latest from the world of ZX, BBC and Vic computers, as well as the new releases to the market.

However, the first thing which caught my attention was the editorial piece about networking. Some felt that networking computers was becoming pointless, as the main reason for doing this was to allow sharing of often expensive peripheral devices. However, the march of technology meant that these were becoming cheaper all the time, and so this networking would become unnecessary.

Not so, said the piece, as networks should now become larger scale, enabling communication between remotely located machines. This in turn would open up access to remote databases, with Sinclair suggesting that in future its software would be downloaded directly from a remote Sinclair database.

In describing the future for networking of computers, this piece was absolutely spot on.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

London 2012 Recorded in Super Hi-Vision 8K HD

I was in London for the Men's Marathon, one of the last events of the Olympic games, and fortunately was early enough to secure a good spot near St Paul's Cathedral.

As the athletes ran 3 laps of a course through the city's streets, there was plenty of time to become accustomed to proceedings. First, the "Forward Command Vehicle" drove through, with another car close behind. Then, after a slight interval, the media truck with the official timing display.

Behind that, however, and slightly ahead of the athletes and their camera bike entourage, was another vehicle, carrying some rather interesting equipment, and on one of the passes I managed to see a logo "Super Hi-Vision" and remembered that there was a plan to record and broadcast in 8K High Definition.

I was lucky enough to see examples of the future of High Definition at Essex University a couple of years ago. On the third lap, I managed to catch the vehicle on a video I took of the leaders running through.
Currently, our HD TVs at home have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, which is referred to as "2K". 8K HD has a resolution of 7680 x 4320 pixels. The Olympics project is a joint venture between the BBC and NHK.

You can find out more about these developments and how the future of TV might evolve on the BBC R&D Blog (including a great picture of Super Hi-Vision installed in the Broadcasting House Radio Theatre), and in these articles on Pocket-lint and techradar.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

LinkedIn Usage Trends

Over the past month, my LinkedIn network has grown by about 5% so I thought I'd run a quick query over the data I've accumulated to see if there's much in the way of change in habits since last time.

The short answer is no, but looking a bit deeper, a slightly higher percentage of the network creating shares does indicate some increased activity, so it'll be interesting to see if this trend continues over the coming months.

In the meantime you can find out more about the chart above here.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Jump into the Time Machine: Computing in 1982

I was having a clearout recently and found some back issues of Your Computer. This was my magazine of choice for computing matters in the early 80s, and I thought it would be fun to look at some of the issues arising 30 years ago.

The July 1982 edition had cover stories for the Spectrum and ZX-81, the BBC and the Atom, as well as the Vic-20.

In the news were the launches of the Dragon 32 and the NewBrain (or at least the availability of it, some two years after the launch) and the inevitable Spectrum delays, with the first machines ordered taking up to eight weeks to deliver.

The lead article that month was written by Tim Hartnell (who I had the opportunity to work with a couple of years later) and was an introduction to the Spectrum graphics and sound features that were available to those who were lucky enough to have received their machines.

Wednesday 4 July 2012

Are you making the most of LinkedIn?

Earlier this year I started extracting network data from LinkedIn via the LinkedIn API. There are some earlier posts about how this can be done, and a couple more looking at the data over the first couple of months for which I was able to compile a proper data set.

Since then I've been compiling more data and now seems a good time to look at how my network has grown, and the extent to which my connections make use of LinkedIn.

My network has grown by around 10% since I first started accumulating data, and one of the consequences of accumulating that data (as there is a limit to what you can retrieve in any one request) is the inevitable lack of historical data for new connections.

However, this effect can be lessened by only reporting activities within the last calendar month, which is the report I'm currently producing. That data can then be accumulated itself, to give a month by month overview:

What's interesting is that over the 4 months shown, my network has grown, but the percentage of it making use of LinkedIn features has fallen - which would imply that the new connections are not, on average, increasing the usage figures.

This suggests that LinkedIn is being used fully only by a small core group of my connections, while the remainder use it for making new connections and building their own networks, or in a lot of cases, not at all - consider the final set of bars, over a third are consistently not using LinkedIn at all in a way that can be measured.

I'll be continuing to accumulate this data over the coming months. In the meantime you can find out more about the chart above here.

Monday 25 June 2012

Don't Make this Mistake when Embedding YouTube Videos

How YouTube's "related videos" Feature can Hurt your Marketing

photo by Alan Light on Flickr
Many businesses are now using YouTube for promotional and educational videos to showcase what their business can do. They are a great way of reaching out to potential customers and getting your message across.

However, one of the useful features YouTube offers can, in some circumstances, really hurt you. Once your video has stopped playing, YouTube helpfully displays a collection of related videos, which the viewer might be interested in. Chances are, these will be determined using keywords in the title of your video. Some of them might even be videos you've uploaded yourself.

However, sometimes they aren't, and they might even put out a message completely different to the one that you are. Here are a few examples:

  • A kindergarten promotional video where the suggestions are less "child-friendly".
  • A company video where one of the suggestions is a competitor in the same market.
  • A company video where one of the suggestions may criticise the company or its products, or its market generally.

Obviously these are situations you want to avoid, and although you can't stop people searching for other material about you, your products, or your marketplace, you can at least stop YouTube from doing the work for them. Here's how.

When you embed a YouTube video, you'll always have a URL to work with, here's one for a video about LinkedIn. Play it, and look out for the (possibly) related items at the end.

The URL for this embedded video is as follows, click on the link and the video will open in a new window in your browser.

These can be suppressed simply by adding a few characters to the end of the URL. This is the same video, but if you play this one, you'll see that at the end, there is just a blank screen rather than the related videos.

As you can see, the URL is very similar, but just has a bit extra in it

This simple change will make sure that you market your business and its products - and nothing else!

Wednesday 20 June 2012

Fix for Upload Image bug on LinkedIn Company Pages

I've been playing recently with LinkedIn's Company Pages feature, and discovered a frustrating issue with the upload process for logo images and also products and services showcase images.

For some reason, these images simply don't upload, and after some playing, I got some help from Firefox:

This had me off looking at the HTML for the page, which revealed the problem. Some time ago, LinkedIn implemented HTTPS on all its pages, advising users, quite correctly, to switch over to this as soon as possible. This means that the URL for the "edit company overview" page will look like this:

However, within that page, the form to upload images has the following action URL:

It is this mismatch between secure and not-secure that gives rise to the message from Firefox, and it turns out that this interferes with the image upload process.

Therefore the workaround for this is to switch off the option to use HTTPS when possible (Settings -> Account -> Manage Security Settings). The dialogue looks like this:

Untick the box, save, and then navigate back to your company page, making sure you are now using HTTP and not HTTPS, and you should find that the images now upload correctly. When you have completed your work, you should of course return to the security settings and switch HTTPS back on.

Monday 18 June 2012

North Downs Walk: Westhumble and Ranmore Common

View from North Downs Way near Ranmore Common
This is another walk in the Box Hill area, with the same starting point as last year's walk to Box Hill, but exploring the west side of the Mole valley. In the description below, grid references were obtained from UK Grid Reference Finder and the points can all be displayed here.

Starting at Box Hill and Westhumble station, turn left and head up the hill over the railway bridge, bearing left onto Chapel Lane. Just after Pilgrims Way turn left onto a footpath at TQ 16517 51855 [B].

Follow this, crossing one road along the way, eventually reaching a kissing gate into a field. There's a second gate immediately ahead, pass through this to meet the North Downs Way at TQ 16358 51446 [C].

Joining the North Downs Way

Turn right on to the North Downs Way, and follow this all the way to Ranmore Common. Along the way, there are good views of Denbies Vineyard to the left, initially with the Mole Valley and Box Hill beyond, and then as the path bears to the right and emerges from the trees, Dorking and Westcott.

Church of St Barnabas
The surface is easy walking for most of the way, and soon becomes a tarmac road - watch out for the Denbies Vineyard tour "train", pulled by a Land Rover.

Follow the North Downs Way as it turns right at TQ 15124 50529 [D] and left at TQ 15091 50691 [E] on to Ranmore Common Road. Follow this, and if time permits spend a while looking at the Church of St Barnabas on the left.

Ranmore Common Road emerges from the trees at a junction at TQ 14355 50369 [F], the North Downs Way continues on the other side of the road - look for the footpath post immediately opposite.

Follow the path around to the right, and then straight ahead into the trees. There are further good views of the valley over to the left.

Ranmore Common
Immediately after the gate at the Forestry Commission sign at TQ 13991 50275 [G], take the footpath backwards and to the right, which soon bears left and leads back out to the road. Cross the road and head left, a footpath post is visible on the right hand side at TQ 13897 50458 [H].

There are in fact three paths leading away from here, this walk takes the middle one, signposted for the Youth Hostel at Tanner's Hatch. At the Youth Hostel, follow the path round to the right at TQ 14009 51552 [I].

Soon after emerging from the trees, there is a junction of paths at TQ 14423 51730 [J]. At this point, it is possible to branch off and visit Polesden Lacey, see the note below for this extension.

Bear right across open land to Bagden Farm, and then left to meet Chapel Lane at TQ 14802 52093 [K]. From here, follow Chapel Lane back towards Westhumble. Note that the lane is winding and narrow, and
difficult in places, but it is nevertheless possible to walk straight back into Westhumble this way.

Alternatively, take a right turn on to Ranmore Common Road, and then take the footpath off to the left at TQ 15246 51946 [L], following this upwards and keeping to the left - the footpath continues across a style and alongside the edge of the trees. Cross another style and then follow the path as it bears to the right.

At the footpath junction at TQ 15871 51622 [M] turn left, and then look for the footpath on the right at TQ 16028 51856 [N]. Rejoin Chapel Lane, and follow it back into Westhumble.

Italianate Bridge
For the extension to Polesden Lacey (allow a minimum of one hour for this), instead of bearing right across the open land at TQ 14423 51730 [J], follow the path ahead and round to the left, heading uphill to the Italianate Bridge at TQ 14309 51974 [O]. Use the steps just beyond the bridge to the right hand side to reach the road and head towards the house and grounds.

Note that it is possible to enter the grounds from this road, by following it to the gate and entering at TQ 14209 51964 [P], but it is possible to access the visitor centre and facilities without buying a ticket for the house and grounds, there is a gate to the right at TQ 14248 51952 [Q] before reaching the boundary gate. Keep following this path around the boundary, through two gates at TQ 14067 52280 [R], bear left around the edge of the trees at TQ 13950 52481 [S] before finally meeting the entrance road at TQ 13699 52384 [T].

From there, the main entrance is ahead and on the left.

To rejoin the walk, head back to the Italianate Bridge, and continue on the road, which winds down to Bagden Farm. Pass through the gate to the left of the main gate and on to Chapel Lane.

Wednesday 13 June 2012

Dave Gorman, Flickr, and the DMCA - Concluded

Update: Dave Gorman has a new blog post describing the conclusion to this saga.

On February 17th this year, Flickr deleted this photograph posted by Dave Gorman, following a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) request from a company called Wasteland Inc. They basically told Flickr that they were the rightful copyright holders, and in response to that, Flickr deleted the image.

Dave Gorman is currently discussing this on his blog, and both the main post and the comments contain some fascinating insights:
  • He describes how he investigated the claim, found out more about Wasteland Inc. and then launched a counter claim which wasn't challenged
  • He talks about the damage done to the original upload because Flickr did not restore it with the original link, comments, and viewing statistics
  • He highlights the issues with the DMCA notification process
  • In the comments section, there is a contribution from the CEO of Wasteland Inc. which is a great example of how to respond swiftly to public criticism via social media channels
Read the full article here.

Thursday 7 June 2012

Useful Reading on the LinkedIn Password Problem

Photo credit: Mario Sundar on Flickr
There's a lot been published on this over the last day or so, which means that there's not much point repeating it all, but I have seen some useful articles and blog posts which are worth sharing.

First up is to say that LinkedIn are providing updates on this, as they should, the latest one is here. This does mention "hashing" and "salting", and you can find out more about these terms in this short post by Peter Vidani.

You can get some advice on finding out if your password was compromised over at Avinash, this post includes a link to a tool that you can use, but as this involves typing in your password, make sure this isn't a password you're still using anywhere. You've changed your LinkedIn password anyway, haven't you? Haven't you?

Finally, Troy Hunt has some useful advice on managing your passwords generally, as well as dealing with this specific incident.

Monday 4 June 2012

Use Buffer to Retweet into LinkedIn

In May, the team at Buffer announced some updates to their browser extension components which allow you to schedule Tweets from within, and also to schedule retweets.

However, because of the way that the Buffer extensions work, this opens up a solution to the problem of Tweets piped into LinkedIn status updates becoming un-shareable on LinkedIn.

This is a problem I wrote about recently over on Social Mii so I won't cover it again in detail here, except to repeat one of the screenshots which describes the problem (click on all the images in this post to enlarge them):

The issue here is a lack of a LinkedIn "share" link when Tweets are piped directly into LinkedIn from Twitter.

The ability to schedule retweets using Buffer allows you to also share the update with other social media networks, including LinkedIn. Here's an example of the process in action.

We start with the Tweet we wish to retweet. As we have the Buffer extension installed, the page now includes the "Buffer" link, along with the Buffer icon:

Click on the Buffer link, and the normal Buffer extension dialogue appears, with the original Tweet shown with the "RT @user:" retweet prefix. In this example, the addition of this prefix pushes the text to over 140 characters, which is too much for Twitter, so it does need to be edited down slightly.

Note that the Buffer accounts list include my Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, which means that this update will go to both social networks. Click "Add to Buffer", and the post will be added.

We now check the Buffer schedule and find both the Twitter and LinkedIn updates are in place:

One other thing to add is that the LinkedIn share allows for additional information to be displayed from any link included in the Tweet, and although Buffer supports this, it isn't included here. However, all is not lost, as we can now edit the LinkedIn item by using the "edit this post" button in Buffer. We only need to make a minor change to the text (such as adding a space) and Buffer will go off and fetch the additional information, and update the post:

So now we can effectively and quickly retweet from Twitter into other social networks, including LinkedIn, and once in LinkedIn, our updates can be easily shared by others in our network: